HAMPSHIRE County Council has threatened that Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across the county could close following over a week of long queues.

They also once again urged people to only make essential journeys to recycling centres, after centres around Hampshire saw a week of “expected queues and traffic delays”.

On Monday May 10, tips across the county - including Winchester - reopened and saw some motorists left to face a two-hour wait to unload their rubbish elsewhere in the county.

Following this, Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader of the county council and executive member for economy, transport and environment, said the long lines were expected.

“As such we implemented traffic management measures across all our sites to help manage the flow of traffic and make it as easy, and as safe, as possible for the public to drop off their essential waste and recycling,” he said.

“However, with demand exceeding that in many other parts of England, long queues have been forming so I would urge residents to only travel to our HWRCs if absolutely essential.”

The council is now reviewing its traffic management plans for the sites.

“If severe traffic disruption continues at individual sites, we will have to consider whether the sites can stay open,” he added.

“Visitors who choose to visit, should expect to queue, potentially for some considerable time before entering.

“If you can, please store your waste safely at home, and visit us at a later date.”

Some 4,000 visits have been made to Hampshire‘s recycling centres each day since they re-opened which, by the end of the week, will equate to almost 30,000 visits in total.

Each site is currently operating temporary revised daily opening hours of 10am–4pm, with social distancing measures in place for the safety of staff and the public.

Anyone who has had Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days, or who lives with someone who has been symptomatic in the last fortnight, should not travel to, or enter an HWRC.

After this period, any Covid-19 contaminated waste should be double bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being brought to a site.

The advice is that waste should only be brought to the tip if it would cause a risk to injury or health by storing it at home.

The start date for the HWRC vehicle registration scheme has been postponed in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the online vehicle registration system remains open in readiness for implementation later this year as non-Hampshire residents who would want to use the county’s recycling centres are going to be charged £5.